Montenegro: Pro-Serb lawmakers released from detention

Police officers carry a pro-Serb opposition lawmaker in the parliament building in Podgorica, Montenegro, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. The Serbian Orthodox Church says the law will strip it of its property, including medieval monasteries and churches. The government has denied that. Montenegro’s parliament adopted a contested law on religious rights after chaotic scenes in the assembly that resulted in the detention of all pro-Serb opposition lawmakers. (AP Photo)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — A Montenegrin court early Saturday released from detention three pro-Serb opposition lawmakers who were jailed following turmoil in parliament over the vote on a contested church property law.

Trying to prevent the bill’s approval, the three hurled what appeared to be a tear gas canister or a firecracker and tried to destroy microphones in the Parliament hall on Friday. The bill was nonetheless passed.

The Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro says the new law allows the state to take away its properties. The government has denied it wants to do so.

Opponents organized all-day protests on Thursday and blocked roads, fueling tensions in Montenegro.

Police detained 22 people, including 17 lawmakers, suspected of taking part in the parliamentary unrest. All but three were released shortly after their arrest early Friday.

The legislation says religious communities with properties need to produce evidence of ownership from before 1918, when Montenegro joined a Serb-led Balkan kingdom and lost its independence.

Montenegro split again from Serbia in 2006 but its 620,000 people remain divided over whether the country should pursue closer ties with its neighbor. About 30% of Montenegro’s population identify as Serbs and mostly opposed the split from Serbia.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recent Videos

WDA Volleyball

WDA Boy's Soccer

Minot Boy's Tennis

Community Clean up

Handbags for Ethiopia

Hidden in the Dakotas: a KX News Town Hall

Beulah Volleyball

Thursday, September 24th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Oktoberfest Mandan

Amber's Thursday's Morning #OneMinuteForecast 9/24

Thursday's Forecast: warm & breezy

Yoga Therapy

NDC SEPT 24

TGU Football

Dickinson Football

Hidden History: a lesser-known political party once had a foothold in North Dakota

COVID-19 and Socializing

Williston Family Speaks Out

Election Dates

Switching to In Person

More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss